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Read the opening sequences of the BBC film of Junk - How do these sequences introduce the characters to the audience?

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Introduction

Read the opening sequences of the BBC film of Junk. How do these sequences introduce the characters to the audience? In this essay I will look at the denotations in the opening sequences of Junk, the camera movement, clothing, physical appearance, behaviour, mise-en-scene and so on. From these denotations I will try to ascertain the connotations that they display. In the opening sequence we are met with the title followed by the credits. These are all in plain white writing. Music is playing, a fairground tune from the merry-go-round. The camera pans the empty beach with a long-shot, then tracks from left to right and picks up Gemma, looking down on the beach from a bridge. It then switches to a medium shot of Gemma smoking a cigarette. She finishes it, throws it away and walks off to the right. The connotations of this sequence are numerous. The plain white writing gives us the impression that this is more of a factual programme than a drama. The music has a mesmeric quality, an unstoppable cycle with a childish feel. ...read more.

Middle

The music is loud and painful to listen to, reflecting his family life. Gemma's house is the opposite of Tar's. It is colourful, cheerful and vibrant with plenty of natural light. She has posters on her walls and is listening to jovial 80s music. Gemma herself is wearing bright pink and blue clothes. Her father comes in, complains about the state of her room and asks her about the smell of smoke on her jacket. Gemma shakes him off with a lie and then lies again about where she is going that night. Gemma's room and the music playing both give an accurate depiction of Gemma's home life. It is cheerful and happy with very few things she has to worry about. The clothes she is wearing also show that she is slightly childish. There are some similarities between Gemma and Tar but there are a greater number of differences. They are both still children and both seem isolated from their surroundings. Gemma is isolated from the boring surroundings of Burnham-on-Sea and Tar is isolated from the dark surroundings of his home. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also, if it had been set in the present day then it would soon be outdated as things change so quickly. We can tell Junk was set in the 80s by the hairstyles, the clothes, the music and the television programmes. In the book of Junk, Melvin Burgess used many different narrative perspectives in order to describe each character, their aims, feelings etc. This would have been very hard and confusing to do on celluloid as film adopts a different narrative convention to books. It uses other things like colours and sounds to show characters' personalities and their development. This meant that Barry Purchese, the screenplay writer, had to choose one person's perspective through which they could film. He chose Gemma, as she was present in almost every scene all the way through the film and managed to come off heroin and make it through to the end. Overall, I believe the way the characters were introduced was well done. The use of colours and music to suggest things was also very intelligent. The choices to set Junk in the 1980s and use Gemma's perspective meant that it was easier to be historically accurate and still display a lot of the original story. ...read more.

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